Congratulations Jane Kelsey

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, October 13th, 2015 - 59 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, trade - Tags: , , ,

Jane Kelsey

In breaking news Jane Kelsey’a High Court application for a declaration that Tim Groser improperly treated her application for details of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement has essentially succeeded. The decision is here.

The synopsis of the decision is as follows:

[1] The applicants have sought judicial review of a decision of the Minister of Trade (the Minister) in which he refused to release to Professor Kelsey official information contained in eight categories of documents she requested under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act). The information requested by Professor Kelsey concerns material associated with negotiations that have led to a multi-lateral free trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP Agreement).

[2] When the Minister refused Professor Kelsey’s request, neither he nor his officials assessed each piece of information requested against the criteria in the Act for withholding official information. Instead, the Minister adopted a “blanket approach” to the request based upon his knowledge of the categories of documents requested by Professor Kelsey. I have concluded this approach did not comply with the Act.

[3] The applicants have applied for a series of declarations concerning the lawfulness of the Minister’s approach and the meaning of specific provisions of the Act.

[4] Rather than issue specific declarations I have quashed the Minister’s decision in relation to six of the categories of documents requested by Professor Kelsey. I explain in this judgment the aspects of Professor Kelsey’s request which have to be reconsidered. When the Minister reconsiders his decision he will be required to do so in a way that is consistent with his obligations under the Act, which I explain in this judgment.

I have not had time to read or analyse the decision.  No doubt better legal brains than mine will do so.  I suspect the Crown will appeal.

It has been noticeable how recently from various Government friendly quarters Jane Kelsey has been publicly attacked and maligned, in my view totally without justification.  But Jane Kelsey ought to be thanked for her sterling work and her perseverance.  Democracies need more citizens like her.

59 comments on “Congratulations Jane Kelsey”

  1. weka 1

    what’s a declaration?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      In this case a request for a Court to say that what happened here breached the OIA.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      declaration
      A court order stating that a certain situation or fact exists, rather than requiring that something must be done or not done. For example, the Family Court or High Court can make a ‘declaration of paternity’, declaring that a particular man is or is not the father of a particular child.

      source

  2. Pat 2

    yet another example of this government thumbing its nose at the law……as the heading says, Congratulations Jane Kelsey…..but is seriously disturbing that it has come to this

  3. Tracey 3

    wet bus ticket time. the right have some fear of kelsey, highlighted as mickey pointsout, by the ad hominem attacks (led by mapp and hooton).

    oh and another minister breaches the highest ethic standard demanded by the cabinet manual. question for the PM? LOL

  4. Whispering Kate 4

    The Judge quashed the Minister in 6 categories but there are 8 – I wonder what’s so important about the other 2 categories – beggars belief really, we probably wouldn’t sleep at night if we knew the contents of the other 2.

  5. ianmac 5

    Maybe the judgement just means that the Minister was wrong to group 6 non-responses together. The next response will be that the Minister will decline each question one by one. As a layman is this possible?

  6. savenz 6

    Thank you Jane Kelsey for having courage and guts and action to bring these constant illegal breaches by our government to account!

  7. Penny Bright 7

    Got a ‘professional’ and considered opinion on this post Matthew Hooton?
    __________________________________________________________

    Jane Kelsey: Govt spin won’t stop TPP facts emerging

    Tuesday, 13 October 2015
    The New Zealand Herald

    If governments want to play by secret squirrel rules they can hardly accuse those who raise alarms based on best available information of scaremongering.

    The post-Atlanta response by the government and cheerleaders for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) shows they still don’t understand why people have opposed the deal and will continue to do so.

    First, the secrecy of negotiations and the handcuffs the Agreement will place on future elected governments is a direct assault on democracy and sovereignty.

    People don’t want ‘trust me’ democracy where the Executive makes the law in secret and presents a fait accompli.

    The High Court’s decision today that Trade Minister Groser acted unlawfully in refusing to release any information to me under the Official Information Act should act as a wake up call for him and the government.

    In his determination to keep everything secret, Minister Groser treated his legal obligations with contempt. He did not look at a single document before deeming every piece of information too sensitive, or too anodyne, to release.

    During the case the Minister’s standard line, parroted by many politicians and media commentators, that ‘negotiations are always done this way’ was abandoned in the face of evidence they are not.

    The judge’s statement that ‘the Act plays a significant role in New Zealand’s constitutional and democratic arrangements’ and its meaning and purpose must be fully honoured by those to whom it applies, is a clear rebuke to the Minister.

    It also sends a clear message to the government more generally that the growing unaccountability of Executive power is not acceptable in a democracy.

    The opposition to the TPPA is also about substance.

    It became a mass movement because people understand this is not about ‘free trade’, but that corporate interests are seeking to remake global rules in their interests.

    Suggestions by pro-TPPA politicians and commentators that doctors, parliamentarians, lawyers, and local communities, here and around the world, are dupes of myself and a couple of fellow-travellers beggars belief.

    As Minister Groser discovered, such insults backfire when the targets have more credibility than politicians.

    I take my role as a public intellectual seriously. Always have. For more than six years, at considerable personal expense, I closely monitored the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations.

    With a handful of others, I continued to attend negotiating meetings when they went underground two years ago, as the already inadequate ‘stakeholder’ process stopped without any explanation.

    Two books, many academic articles and conference papers, keynote addresses, briefings to politicians and professional bodies, commentaries on leaked texts, opinion pieces, speeches and press releases, sought to give people some insights into what was happening behind closed doors.

    Most of the technical papers written to assist negotiators will never see the light of day.

    I stand by everything I have said about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) over the past six years (especially if it is quoted accurately).

    Once the text becomes public, it will become clear that some of the excesses were beaten back (and opposition to the deal can take considerable credit for that), but many of the dangers that I and others pointed to are still there.

    We always knew the government and its allies would have a two-pronged strategy if they finalised the deal – to spin like crazy before people could see the facts, and to launch a counter-offensive to discredit opponents.

    I guess it’s flattering that the government apparently pre-scripted counters to every point they thought I would raise.

    Personal attacks and character assassination, epitomised by Rodney Hide’s vitriol in the Herald on Sunday, are the resort of people who lack convincing arguments.

    It’s time for the post-Atlanta debate to focus on the substance, which requires release of the text and the background documents, and for the parties to revoke their secrecy pact to keep negotiating documents secret for four years after the agreement comes into force.

    Work has already begun, with support from the Law Foundation, on a series of expert analyses that will enable New Zealanders to judge for themselves what they think of the final deal.

    That is what democracy requires. New Zealanders deserve nothing less.

    Jane Kelsey is a law professor at Auckland University.
    _____________________________________________

    Penny Bright

    Confirmed 2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  8. Matthew Hooton 8

    Absolutely Greg. On this issue, congratulations Jane Kelsey. With it comes to OIA compliance, each government since Muldoon’s (which passed the Act) has been worse than the one before, and the slide risks continuing until the Act becomes a total irrelevance. This is a good shot across the government’s bow that it has to comply with the law, and hopefully it will be part of encouraging a behaviour change. Sadly, I doubt it though, and I think the OIA needs to be fully reviewed, reformed and modernised, including adding penalties for breaking it. This may also be a start for a push towards that.

    • Anne 8.1

      I take offence at you using a person’s real name instead of their pseudonym. While mickysavage has been open about his identity, he chooses to write here under a pseudonym. Perhaps you are of the opinion that your self-designated place in society is on a higher plane than the rest of us and therefore you don’t have to abide by normal common courtesy and respect. I disagree.

      • Matthew Hooton 8.1.1

        You can “take offence” if you want, whatever that means, and whatever you gain psychically from it.

        • McFlock 8.1.1.1

          whatever you gain psychically from it.

          If people gained “psychically” from being subjected to the (sometimes passive-) aggressive dickishness of tories, most readers here would have some XMen-level powers by now…

    • Paul 8.2

      Spin spin spin.
      You are a mercenary of big business, Mr Hooton.
      Many citizens find such actions contemptible.

      • North 8.2.1

        Ha ! Too late…..I get it – the Ponce Key’s “Higher Standards, Higher Standards, Higher Standards !”

        All along he was talking about taller flag poles from which to fly his and Richie’s beloved Silver Fern. What a creep !

      • Rozgonz 8.2.2

        Where would we be without big business Paul? Who creates jobs and pays your bills Paul?

    • Grindlebottom 8.3

      Hooton:…I think the OIA needs to be fully reviewed, reformed and modernised, including adding penalties for breaking it. This may also be a start for a push towards that.

      The behaviour of this National government suggests this Court decision might be the start of a move to amend the OIA to ensure they can get away with this sort of refusal to release information behaviour in the future. They are unlikely to add penalties for breaking it that would apply to Ministers.

      • Grindlebottom 8.3.1

        From a quick read of the decision the guts of it seems to be that Court has ordered Grosser to reconsider the decision, ensuring officials this time properly assess each piece of information in 6 of the 8 categories requested by Professor Kelsey against the OIA criteria for withholding official information, and that any refusal to release the information next time correctly identifies the specific reason allowed in s 18(a)-(h) of the Act for withholding each piece of information, as well as the grounds on which those reasons are based.

        The Crown probably won’t need to appeal. The Chief Ombudsman reviewed the Minister’s decision after seeing 21 documents that fell within Kelsey’s request. She upheld the decision to withhold. The Judge said he was unable to review the merits of the decision to withhold (meaning he couldn’t legally substitute his judgement on whether public interest outweighed other considerations for withholding info).

        All Grosser may have to do is get his officials to do a bit more work and he gets to withhold basically the same information again. I think the way the judge explains how the Minister must identify the “grounds” for his reasons will cause MFAT some headaches: he makes that rather muddy, IMO. But the Minister could still conceivably get away with not providing grounds by virtue of s 19(a)(2).

    • Stuart Munro 8.4

      Nice use of the ‘Labour did it too’ meme Matthew – can you substantiate it?

      • Matthew Hooton 8.4.1

        Yes, I have been a big user of the OIA for many years and it would take months to get ministers in the last government to comply with the law. Now it is many more months, rolling in some cases into years. It seems each government tries to outdo the one before in terms of abusing this particular Act.

        • leftie 8.4.1.1

          @Matthew Hooton.

          Where’s the proof? Your response doesn’t substantiate anything.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.4.1.2

          There’s a maximum of 20 days turnaround. I assume that you’re taking all these that are taking months to the Ombudsman?

        • Stuart Munro 8.4.1.3

          Months to years – so it would not be out of place to describe this government as an order of magnitude worse in the matter of OIA requests. I always like to know effect sizes.

        • Tracey 8.4.1.4

          And of course your own admission that when you were a paid employee of National and had to process OIA’s you happily abused the process by directive.

          But that’s changed now Matthew, right? You know since Key pissed you off personally and all.

          🙄

          • Matthew Hooton 8.4.1.4.1

            My record was one year (to the day) and that was going back and forth to the Ombudsman many times, and negotiating what would be released. In the end we could withhold a great deal of information and gave the requestor (the student unions) a single sentence that answered their inquiry fully. To hold up an OIA for a whole year was so unusual in the mid 1990s that I kept the file as a memento. By the mid 2000s, a one year delay was common but not standard practice. Now it is standard practice. God knows where things will get to if the situation isn’t corrected.

            • Tracey 8.4.1.4.1.1

              Everything always come back to intent Matthew. Laws are only effective in this kind of area when people enforce/apply them with the intent of the law in mind, instead of the mindset of circumventing obligations. I don’t know how that changes.

              For example the Cabinet Manual is pretty clear but has no genuine enforcement provision so is treated like a piece of toilet paper

              I had a complaint to the Ombudsmen (following a decline by DBH) still underway 2 years later. By then my client had been to Court and the information I requested was required for that. NEVER heard again from Ombudsmen.

            • DoublePlusGood 8.4.1.4.1.2

              “kept the file as a memento”
              Says everything about your lack of character and integrity really, that you would want to keep a file to fondly remember a time when you abused the system for political gain.

            • Grant 8.4.1.4.1.3

              So it’s not corruption of the intent of the OIA that bothers you it’s just the scale on which it’s practiced. Sounds about right for you.

      • Pat 8.5.1

        tis just another variation of “they do it too” …Matthew is nothing if not predictable.

        • Matthew Hooton 8.5.1.1

          But they didn’t “do it too” – not to this extent. This is the worst government ever in terms of OIA compliance. That is my point. Courts need to be used to intervene more to stop it getting even worse, and hopefully encourage improvement.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 8.5.1.1.1

            Personal responsibility means personal consequences. Get Ministers a corporate box from SERCO. With bars. No, not that kind of bar.

            • Tracey 8.5.1.1.1.1

              and employees who choose to take orders from people seeking to abuse the system ought to have protection to do the right thing.

          • Pat 8.5.1.1.2

            “But they didn’t “do it too” – not to this extent. This is the worst government ever in terms of OIA compliance.”

            and not only in terms of OIA compliance…but I must confess that statement was not predicted.

    • Tracey 8.6

      progressively worse indeed. This government was elected on a self professed claim of better transparency than its predecessor. It lied and then failed by design. But then you know this cos you were part of that abuse at one stage and didn’t object.

      BUT now you are all reformed since Mr Key pissed you off personally.

  9. Tory 9

    I have no issues with the Courts findings, that’s the process.

    With regards to the politics of Jane Kelsey, she doesn’t believe in globalisation whereas the current government (and myself) do, what’s wrong with challenging (you use the words ‘publicly attacked and maligned’) a critic on their views?

    It happens everyday in some form (from the left and right; after all it was the ex Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark who categorised John Campbell a “sanctimonious little creep”).

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      With regards to the politics of Jane Kelsey, she doesn’t believe in globalisation whereas the current government (and myself) do, what’s wrong with challenging (you use the words ‘publicly attacked and maligned’) a critic on their views?

      It’s not peoples views that need challenging but the facts. Kelsey has facts, the RWNJs only have ad hominem attacks.

      • sandflypoint 9.1.1

        No Kelsey doesn’t have the facts. There is a fairly long list of claims she has made on the TPP that are demonstrably false. Kelsey is a paid activist, nothing more. All power to her, but the TPP is away and the sun still rose this morning.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          There is a fairly long list of claims she has made on the TPP that are demonstrably false.

          You’ll be able to list them then right?

          Kelsey is a paid activist, nothing more.

          No she’s not, she’s an academic. You really shouldn’t go round defaming people like that – it could get you in trouble.

          but the TPP is away and the sun still rose this morning.

          And the sun will rise again tommorrow and the TPPA will still be a bad deal costing us billions.

          • Rozgonz 9.1.1.1.1

            Kelsey is a communist who is fundamentally opposed to free trade and anything the National Government does. She can’t think straight so her argument carry’s no weight.

            [lprent: And obviously you are card carrying fascist from the late 1930s, who wanders around with your brain hanging out of your pants showing syphilitic sores and bad penile hygiene. In other words a sick dickhead.

            This is an ‘fact’ that carries equal credibility with your one. In other words none…. Have you read our policy? Oh thats right – you probably can’t understand words that someone hasn’t made into slogans for you.

            Banned permanently as being a troll who is simply too stupid to write on this site. ]

        • mickysavage 9.1.1.2

          Straw man argument. One of her main complaints is that she has been improperly denied the relevant information and from the looks of today’s decision she is right.

        • savenz 9.1.1.3

          Oh where have I heard the phrase

          TPP is away and the sun still rose this morning

          Yes I bet it’s nice in Hawaii and the sun still rises there, oh to be a government funded troll.

    • North 9.2

      Yeah well Bowel Motion reckons Kelsey’s just a Commie…..???

  10. BLiP 10

    Indeed, sincere thanks to Jane Kelsey along with Consumer NZ, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, Ngati Kahungunu, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, the Tertiary Education Union, Greenpeace and Oxfam for exposing yet more unlawfulness by the John Key led National Ltd™ government. Were it not for this extraordinary collaboration it seems Jane Kelsey’s fight would have been made all the more difficult.

    Any celebrations should be tempered by the fact that the Ombusman’s Office and Crown Law have colluded with National Ltd™ in denying New Zealanders their rights. While its pretty much the job of Crown Law to protect the government, Beverley Wakem needs to explain herself. Not only did she drag her heels over this matter but she appears also to have got it completely wrong.

    • Gangnam Style 10.1

      “Beverley Wakem needs to explain herself. Not only did she drag her heels over this matter but she appears also to have got it completely wrong.” – YES!

    • Tracey 10.2

      It’s a hard left marxist conspiracy to make life hard for NZers. Clearly. Such bastards seeking to hold Ministers and their departments to account pursuant to legislation passed by Parliament as representatives of the people.

  11. Mike the Savage One 11

    A triumph of some form at last, for Jane Kelsey and friends, I congratulate her! With some pleasure I also read this in an article by Hamish Rutherford on ‘stuff.co’ today (see link below):

    “The decision led to a fresh attack of the Ombudsman, which adjudicates on Official Information Act disputes, and upheld Groser’s decision not to release information.

    The Taxpayers’ Union congratulated Kelsey on her court challenge, as it dismissed the Ombudsman’s effectiveness.

    “This is a significant victory for freedom of information and an embarrassment for the Office of the Ombudsman which has been shown up as lacking. Every day, groups from the Taxpayers’ Union to Greenpeace along with public lawyers and political journalists are hampered by a freedom of information system which is being gamed by the government,” executive director Jordan Williams said.

    “For years the Ombudsman’s office has complained that the problems are due to a lack of funding. In reality, the number of appeals relating to the Official Information Act has snowballed because government agencies and politicians know that the Ombudsman is a toothless tiger.” ”

    Quoted extract from stuff.co, here is the link to the full story:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/72963910/judge-orders-trade-minister-to-review-his-refusal-to-release-tppa-documents

    The Chief Ombudsman is defending her Office, but I know full well, like many others, that they have been sitting on endless complaints for months if not years, and simply lamenting underfunding, and otherwise do nothing, that has been a weak performance by Dame Beverley Wakem.

    This government has been playing the OIA system for years, and they continue doing it, denying citizens transparency and accountability, and with that access to justice also in many other complaints. Having read some decisions by Ms Wakem, I am not impressed by her and her colleague Ron Paterson.

  12. NZJester 12

    When big corporations who are not governments are allowed to see the text in full but not the general public then there is a serious problem with it to begin with. Any money those big corporations make out of this deal before it all becomes public is just as bad as someone making money from the stock market by insider trading.

  13. mikesh 13

    It seems to me Ms Kelsey has not gained anything. The grounds of the court’s decision are that Groser & Co did not comply with with the provisions of the act. So now Groser will “return to the drawing board”, comply with the act’s provisions, and then refuse the application anyway, assuming he can make a reasonable case for doing so.

    • Tracey 13.1

      Except she has revealed that Mr Groser made a decision based on his ideology rather than the criteria for releasing information. Presumably he was worried that his desire to not release couldn’t be supported by the criteria laid out in the legislation, otherwise why ignore said criteria?

      Others may think that revealing that is nothing, but in fact it makes it harder for those who support this government to do so with the belief that they are supporting people with integrity, honesty, genuine belief in the positions they take on our behalf (cos IF he genuinely held such belief the process would have supported a decision to withhold the information) . People who twist a system, or in this case simply ignore it cannot be trusted and show very poor judgment. It follows that their decisions on our behalf cannot be trusted either. But hey, some folks think they can get a better life by supporting such behaviour…

      The criteria exist to prevent politicians abusing the right to know what is going on in our Parliament. Groser has done just that. Key wont invoke the “highest ethical standards” and the Speaker won’t punish him. National’s supporters might not too BUT that doesn’t change the type of character that is being revealed as Mr Groser.

      Now when people vote for he and his party they do it with full knowledge that he will do anything, including breaching laws, to control what information NZers get to see. They may not ask why, but they ought to.

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    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    5 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    5 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    6 days ago
  • An odious bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    7 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
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    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
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    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
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    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
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    7 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago